When you’ve moved house, arriving at your new home and turning the key for the first time is a moment of pure excitement. As you step over the threshold, your first instinct will undoubtedly be to run round the house, checking out all the rooms and generally revelling in your new family abode. But before you get too over excited, there are a few things you really should do to make sure you and your family are safe, protected and ready to start off on the right foot.

  • Check the condition – Have a quick scout around the house to check for any damage that might have been caused as the previous occupants left. If you are renting then you’ll have a more thorough inventory to do, but at this stage it is easier to spot and record any issues as well as to verify it was not you who caused it. If you find anything concerning, photograph and make a note of it before you move any furniture in.
  • Check for what has been left behind – If you agreed to curtains or white goods being left, make sure they are still there. If you find anything you had not expected to be there, contact your estate agent to confirm if they were left by mistake or not.
  • Read your meters – You don’t want to be charged for someone elses energy use, so take a reading as you enter the property that you can call in to your energy company (as soon as you find the phone, that is).
  • Watch out for hazards – This step is particularly important if you have children or pets in the household, as exposed wires and loose carpet can cause an accident when you least need it.
  • Get everyone in a safe place – Put the kids and the animals in a room away from the action, and if you have a ‘spare’ adult on hand, leave them to entertain the confined individuals whilst you get on with the unpacking. If your new home is on a busy road, take extra care to keep vulnerable individuals away from the traffic.
  • Identify the rooms – Make certain you know which rooms will be which so your boxes and furniture can quickly make their way to the appropriate area. Allocate a ‘dumping’ space for anything you don’t need straight away and that can be unpacked over the coming days or weeks. Focus on getting beds and sofas set up early on, so you can all crash out when you’re finished unloading the van.
  • Introduce yourself – Meeting the neighbours may not be high on your list of priorities when you move to a new home, but it will be easier to do today than at any other time. Let them know if you’ll be blocking their access or view and for how long, as this can help diffuse potential confrontations further down the line.